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Written Answers

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 20 March 2003

Minister For Women

International Women's Day

23.

To ask the Minister for Women if she will make a statement on her Department's contribution to International Women's Day. [103903]

As part of the celebrations for International Women's Day, the Women and Equality Unit launched an excellent pack for young people—"Does Sex Make a Difference", and I opened the International Women's Day adjournment debate in the House of Commons, and launched a special 50p coin to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union.

Student Debt

24.

To ask the Minister for Women what consultations the Minister has had with the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education regarding the different level of difficulty men and women have in repaying student debts. [103904]

I have discussed with both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and my hon. Friend the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education the issue of student debt, and its impact on women in particular.

Child Care

26.

To ask the Minister for Women what steps she is taking to support the development of child care as a business. [103906]

Child care businesses, particularly micro-businesses and social enterprises, need support and skills training in order to be sustainable. We are working with DfES and DWP to improve links and support between Business Link Operators and child care business support officers to this end. A specific targeted programme of support, including provision of good practice, workshops, resource packs, a helpline and a website, is scheduled to start in May and run until March 2004.

Private Members' Clubs

27.

To ask the Minister for Women what plans she has to propose legislation against sex discrimination against women in private members' clubs. [103907]

I welcome the Sex Discrimination (Clubs and Other Associations) Bill, introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda) on 4 February 2003. There is no question that the inequalities which persist in some mixed-sex clubs are out of date and contrary to this Government's principles of opportunity for all.While I can make no commitment on parliamentary time, this is a matter which we will keep under review.

Trade And Industry

Small Businesses

11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to ensure that small businesses are encouraged to bid for public sector contracts. [103890]

Small firms make a vital contribution to the public sector. A survey of selected departments and agencies shows 50 per cent. of our contracts go to SMEs with a value of £730 million.We have cut the requirement to provide three years accounts, to two years and I now want the requirement abolished to encourage start-ups and fledgling businesses.And this new booklet "Smaller supplier—better value" supports our new web portal for small firms seeking Government contracts.But there is much much more we can and must do.

Fireworks

12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and industry how many representations she has received expressing a desire for stricter legislation on the use of fireworks. [103892]

Since the beginning of November 2002 I have received 2,078 representations indicating a desire to see tighter controls on fireworks. These comprise 1,588 letters from the general public, 476 letters from MPs, eight Petitions, and six meetings with representatives from various organisations interested in improving fireworks legislation.

Agency Workers Directive

13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations she has received from businesses on the proposed temporary agency workers directive. [103893]

The Government held a public consultation on the proposed directive from 10 July 2002 to 18 November 2002. A summary of responses to the public consultation has been placed in the Library of the house, along with an Explanatory Memorandum and a Regulatory Impact Assessment.

World Trade

14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on current negotiations regarding TRIPS. [103894]

The Government are disappointed that the WTO did not reach agreement on TRIPS and Public Health by the deadline of December last year.

The US was the only member of the WTO who could not accept the proposal on the table.

We will continue to work with all WTO members to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she is taking to achieve a world trade agreement in the interests of developing countries. [103898]

We are committed to ensuring that the Doha Development Agenda delivers substantial benefits to all WTO members, especially developing countries.In particular this means making substantial progress on agricultural liberalisation, TRIPS and Public Health and Special and Differential Treatment.Halving protectionism, according to EU figures, would increase developing countries income by an estimated $150 billion per year—more than three times the world's current aid budgets.

Post Office

15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the implementation of the Post Office Urban Re-Invention Programme. [103895]

Following parliamentary approval in October, the programme is going ahead in accordance with the code of practice agreed with Postwatch. I met with Postwatch yesterday to assess their role in reviewing each urban sub-post office closure proposal.

Community Pharmacies

16.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations she has received relating to the Office of Fair Trading recommendations regarding community pharmacies. [103896]

Stakeholders have been feeding in their views on the OFT's report, both through the appropriate health departments and to DTI directly.

Iraq

17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to ensure that British industry plays a substantial role in reconstruction following a possible conflict in Iraq. [103897]

We wish to see UK companies play a substantial role in the humanitarian and reconstruction process in Iraq. British firms have a wealth of experience in the Middle East. We have made this clear to USAID and will continue to discuss with British business how they can best contribute to the development of Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Child Care

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to increase child care provision by employers. [103899]

We recognise that employers play an important role in providing access to good quality, affordable child care. The Paymaster General launched a consultation in February on proposals to extend the tax and national insurance exemptions on employer supported child care. The tax and national insurance proposals aim to provide a better incentive for more employers to support a wider range of formal child care for all working parents, helping the growth and sustainability of child care provision.In addition we will be looking at the results of the Work-Life Balance survey of employers to see what other support is needed to provide more child care provision by employers.

Ambition Construction Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his answer of 3 March 2003, Official Report, column 808W, on house building, how many new deal clients have been (a) funded and (b) trained by the Ambition Construction programme in skilled jobs directly relevant to the house building profession in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002 and (iii) 2003 to the latest date for which figures are available. [102659]

I have been asked to reply.In 2001, we launched the Ambition initiative to help unemployed and disadvantaged people gain the right skills to meet the needs of employers in key sectors such as construction.Ambition: Construction has been operational since June 2002 with pilots currently running in six locations. Training is provided across the full range of building skills, including bricklaying, roofing, plastering, joinery, glazing and painting and decorating. The aim of this training is to provide participants with the skills they need for a wide variety of jobs in the construction industry, including house building.By the end of February 2003, 420 people had started training on the programme. Most of the training courses on this programme last 26 weeks and so only 64 people have so far completed training. However, 54 of these have already started work.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 15 July 2002 on behalf of Mr. Roger Turner. [103974]

I apologise for the delay but I am informed that my noble Friend the Minister for Trade, will be replying very shortly.

Departmental Phone Directory

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the most recent internal phone directory for the Department was published; how often it is updated; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [101786]

The internal phone directory for my Department is published electronically in the form of an online database known as people@dti. Keeping their contact details up to date is the responsibility of individual members of staff who make changes through the Department's Human Resources system. Such changes update the directory overnight.My Department is in the process of developing an offline version of the directory for those in government who do not have access to the online version. When this is available, and staff have been informed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998,1 will place a copy in the Library of the House.Details of our senior staff are, however, available in publications such as the Civil Service Yearbook, Vacher's Parliamentary Companion, Vacher Dod's Civil Service Companion and the PMS Parliamentary Companion.

Hydroelectricity

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to facilitate imports from Norway of renewable electricity generated by hydro-power. [99199]

EU-15 Trade in goods with Iraq: 1997 to January-June 2002
Value US$000
19971998199920002001January to June 2002
Total EU-15 Exports220,199542,165651,5321,038,5501,729,640849,855
France24,54685,30077,837129,042591,869212,556
Italy5,02737,58072,453242,276327,336148,373
Germany126,571244,468300,460361,895301,408203,872
Spain5,37414,05529,08557,28292,98337,832
Belgium37,33952,27988,36646,750
UK10,49242,09956,89977,17487,82527,846
Austria1,4909,67112,34128,74076,84558,677
Sweden1,5179,2534,22220,30969,67643,993
Denmark7,13115,1958,40220,16539,29817,947
Netherlands12,55924,97742,75232,52237,69324,026
Finland2691,3776,8847,7448,9813,359
Greece1882,0408704,0935,86816,314
Portugal113611,04350926
Ireland462049494,9153031,070
Luxembourg622617,243
19971998199920002001January to June 2002
Total EU-15 Imports1,571,6052,091,5283,922,9265,808,7763,183,755678,503
France6,26078,33288,43042,531888,243224,752
Netherlands173,6351,114,705686,149796,171241,363
Italy202,673401,046804,8171,682,160605,93460,636
Spain439,391507,381623,5861,198,505438,25278,702
Greece18,20876,15378,550308,297230,15616,431
Austria132,451134,965210,671284,021170,53251,619
Portugal71,516118,698196,336161,68552,788
UK4835,969671941,25255
Germany527,418738,830805,1581,325,2413774,948
Denmark2326
Sweden119,931211
Luxembourg1
Belgium159
Finland3
Ireland71

Source:

Eurostat Extra and Intra EU Trade

DTI/SU-SA

I understand that National Grid Transco are considering, with Statnett, the Norwegian grid operator, the construction of an interconnector between the UK and Norway that will enable the import of electricity from Norway—and exports to Norway. While this is a commercial project, and not directly a matter for my Department, I nonetheless welcome it as increased interconnection provides greater flexibility and security.I am aware that a high proportion of Norwegian electricity is generated by hydro-power, although from time to time, and especially in periods of low rainfall. Norway is a net importer of electricity, which may be from fossil sources.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the value was of (a) imports and (b) exports between each EU member state and Iraq in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [102665]

Nationalised Businesses

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many nationalised businesses are run by her Department. [103555]

DTI has lead policy responsibility within Government for the following Nationalised Industries:

  • British Nuclear Fuels PLC
  • British Coal Corporation
  • British Shipbuilders

Church Commissioners

Church Repairs (Vat)

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to his oral statement of 3 February, Official Report, column 20, on church repairs and VAT, when he expects the review of the sixth VAT Directive to be completed. [104248]

I refer the hon. Member to my written answer of 12 March 2003.Work is ongoing between Commission officials and Member States to finalise the details of the revision to the Sixth Directive. The aim is to get sufficient agreement in the Council for the 'Recast' Directive to be formally adopted before the next enlargement of the EU, scheduled for May/June 2004.The recasting of the Sixth Directive is a separate exercise to other elements of the Sixth Directive being revised, such as the reduced rates review, scheduled to take place later this year, or the Labour Intensive Services Experiment.

Cabinet Office

Civil Service (Travel Expenses)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what grades in the Civil Service are allowed to travel by air (a) first class and (b) business class at public expense when on official duties. [102887]

Government departments and agencies have delegated authority to decide the rules governing travel by air for their own staff in connection with their employment, subject to the conditions set out in Chapter 8 of the Civil Service Management Code. Paragraph 8.2.1 requires departments and agencies to ensure that staff use the most efficient and economic means of travel in the circumstances, taking into account any management benefit or the needs of staff with disabilities.

Advertising And Publicity

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his estimate is of total Government spending on advertising and publicity for each of the last five years; what value for money assessments of such spending have been carried out; if he will publish these; and if he will make a statement. [103700]

The UK Government have spent the following on advertising in the last five years.

YearCash expenditure (£000)Prices in real terms (£000)*
1997–9860,00065,800
1998–99106,000110,600
1999–2000113,500114,100
2000–01192,400186,600
2001–02162,600162,600
* In real terms at 2001–02 prices based on advertising media inflation rates.

Source:

COI

Advertising is used by Departments when they judge it is the most cost effective way of delivering the publicity necessary to support a policy or proposal. These figures represent the advertising commissioned on behalf of Departments and Agencies by the Central Office of Information. The figures for the total publicity spend of Government Departments is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The responsibility for ensuring that the guidance, on propriety is observed and that value for money is being achieved rests with Ministers and Heads of Departments. The central guidance on these issues is "Guidance on the work of the Government Information Service" which can be found on the GICS website (www.GICS.gov.uk) and on the Cabinet Office website www.cabinet-office.gov. uk

Precedents Book

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's Precedents Book. [103990]

The information requested relates to internal discussion and advice and is therefore exempt from disclosure under Exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Scotland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many special advisers in the Department (a) have left and (b) will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103623]

The rules relating to special advisers' political activities are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Further guidance in respect of elections for the Scottish Parliament is set out at paragraph 13 of the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.The reasons for a special adviser's resignation are a private matter between the Department and adviser, and are therefore exempt from disclosure under paragraph 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Information.

Environment, Food And Rural Affairs

"Waste Not, Want Not"

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make an interim statement on progress towards the development of (a) public expenditure programmes and (b) institutional arrangements needed to implement the recommendations of the Strategy Unit report, "Waste Not, Want Not". [103697]

Following last November's pre-Budget report, a Ministerial Group was established to consider a number of issues, including the proposed new public expenditure programme. The group has met on three occasions, and its decisions will form a key part of the Government's response to the Strategy Unit report. Defra has begun implementing a new institutional structure to drive delivery of the new programme, and is in the process of appointing a programme director.

Animal Diseases (Eu Aid)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the claim for a share of the 2003 EU financial package to tackle BSE and other animal diseases was submitted late by her Department; and if she will make a statement. [103579]

[holding answer 18 March 2003]: The TSE programme was not submitted as a result of an oversight and a subsequent misunderstanding with the commission. The programme was submitted on 22 October when we asked the Commission to reconsider making an EU contribution. The Commission have now confirmed that it is not legally possible for a payment to be made.

Avian Influenza

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to protect the British poultry industry from avian influenza. [102372]

In order to protect the British poultry industry from avian influenza (AI) the Department has taken the following steps.On 21 February 2003 and 3 March 2003 Defra and the Devolved Administrations issued Declarations under Regulation 27 of the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (and equivalent legislation in the devolved territories) introducing a ban on the import of live poultry and hatching eggs into the UK from Hong Kong and the Netherlands respectively following outbreaks of avian influenza in these countries. These Declarations make it a criminal offence to import live poultry and hatching eggs into the UK from both Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Following a suspicion of AI in Belgium, a further Declaration was issued on 12 March 2003 prohibiting the import of live poultry and hatching eggs from Belgium.In addition to the above, on 14 March 2003 Defra also banned the import of racing/show pigeons into England from the Netherlands and Belgium under domestic legislation due to the disease risk they presented. Similar Declarations are being introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.In normal circumstances, all birds (poultry or captive birds) entering the UK must be accompanied by an EU model health certificate stating that premises and area of origin are free from AI. In addition, captive bird imports into the UK from Third Countries are subject to a 30 days quarantine during which birds must be laboratory tested for avian influenza.Defra has reminded egg and poultry producers in the UK about the need for stringent biosecurity measures at all times. To minimise the introduction of AI into their flocks by means of faecal contamination, poultry producers should ensure that their boots, clothing, equipment and vehicles are disinfected. Access by wild birds should be minimised, for instance by clearing up feed spillages. Officials have asked poultry producers in the UK to be vigilant for any signs of respiratory disease in birds and contact their local veterinary office immediately if they have any concerns.The Department is monitoring the AI situation in the Netherlands and Belgium, and should there be any significant change the risk assessment for the UK will be reviewed.

Environment Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she supported French proposals at the Environment Council on 4 March to create a programme to monitor by satellite hydrocarbon discharges at sea; and if she will make a statement. [103825]

[holding answer 19 March 2003]: The French made a statement proposing enhanced European co-operation in satellite monitoring of hydrocarbon discharges at sea under "Other Business". There was no substantive debate of the issue and the United Kingdom did not intervene.The UK has used satellite surveillance on a trial basis, with the Coastguard Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre acting as the focal point. The experience was positive, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport is keen to develop the facility further. The UK already shares satellite information with other Contracting Parties to the Bonn Agreement, and we are working with those Parties and with the EC Management Committee on Marine Pollution with a view to establishing an international monitoring programme.

Fly-Tipping

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) individuals and (b) businesses have been successfully prosecuted for incidences of fly-tipping in each year since 1992; and what fines have been levied as a result. [99270]

Both local authorities and the Environment Agency have the powers to prosecute for fly-tipping offences. There is no central register of this information for local authorities. The Environment Agency has collected the requested data since January 2002.Prosecution data for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 calendar years are available, but relate to the number of offenders prosecuted for the offence of unlawfully depositing waste as described by section 33(1)

(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Similarly, prosecution data for the 1996–97, 1997–98 and 1998–99 financial years are available, but only relate to section 33 offences generally. The Agency is unable to provide prosecution data for 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96.

Data are provided on this basis.

Offences for breach of all of section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

  • 1996–97—41
  • 1997–98—345
  • 1998–99—367

All offences under s33(1) (a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

  • 1999—141
  • 117 individuals—total fines: 63,470
  • 24 businesses—total fines: 115,071
  • 2000—206
  • 170 individuals—total fines: 156,255;
  • 36 businesses—total fines: 425,800
  • 2001—225
  • 187 individuals—total fines: 158,857;
  • 38 businesses—total fines: 144,050

Offences under s33(1) (a)—fly-tipping only

  • 2002—70
  • 59 individuals—total fines: 51,100;
  • 11 businesses—total fines: 26,200
  • 2003 to date—7
  • 4 individuals—total fines: 950;
  • 3 businesses—total fines: 9,200

The Government are currently discussing with the Environment Agency the potential for setting up a national recording system for fly tipping, which would record this type of data from both the Agency and local authorities in England.

Forestry Commission

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost was to public funds of the operations of the Forestry Commission in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK in the last year for which figures are available. [103039]

Forestry is a devolved matter, and the cost of Forestry Commission operations in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive.However, in the year 2001–02 the commission's net operating cost for GB was £82.7 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to review the internal audit procedures of the Forestry Commission. [103040]

There are no plans to review the Forestry Commission's internal audit procedures. These are carried out in accordance with the standards and guidance issued by HM Treasury.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the administrative costs were of the Forestry Commission for each Government Office for the Regions in (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01, (c) 2001–02 and (d) 2002–03. [103291]

The Forestry Commission is a cross border public authority funded separately in England, Scotland and Wales by Treasury, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government respectively. It does not incur administrative costs for the Government Offices for the Regions.

Glass

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of (a) green, (b) white and (c) brown glass have been (i) landfilled, (ii) dumped at sea and (iii) recycled, in each year since 1997. [103336]

The latest available information for UK glass recycling, obtained from the British Glass Federation are listed.

(Thousand tonnes)
ClearGreenBrownMixed
2002196.4242.555.4Unknown
2001197.1270.665.14.8
2000217.8279.565.43.9
1999171.7262.861.62.5
1998148.7267.560.11.4
1997147.1219.665.5Unknown
Figures are based on glass that has been recycled back into container manufacture within the UK.Since 2000 the UK as a whole has recycled approximately 20 per cent more glass into alternative uses, but colour split is unavailable and not included in above table.Data for tonnages of glass landfilled or dumped at sea are not available.

Gm Foodstuffs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on how the Food Standards Agency's 2002 consumer attitudes to food survey has affected her Department's policy on GM foodstuffs. [102862]

My Department noted the Food Standards Agency's 2002 consumer attitudes to food survey. Surveys such as this informed our decision to hold an open and inclusive GM public debate on all the issues surrounding genetic modification.Our overriding objective on the issue of genetic modification is to safeguard human health and the environment and each application to release a GMO will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. However, Defra is not responsible for evaluating GM foods, this is a matter for the FSA. Issues raised, in the survey, e.g. food safety and hygiene and labelling are therefore matters for the FSA to address.

Illegal Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often the Stakeholder Forum on illegal imports has met since 31 March 2002. [103775]

The Stakeholder Forum on illegal imports met on 31 March 2002. It was not established as a continuing body. However, the Government will

StatusNumberTotal revenue costsTotal capita costsTotal project costsTotal shortfall requested
New71,228,9996,1981,088,551807,559
Awaiting further information141,984,174614,5004,453,0191,996,059
Awaiting panel92,330,1783,5501,205,6811,473,433
No applications have yet been approved.

Livestock Movements

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on establishing a 90-mile limit between market and abattoir. [103061]

In a written statement on 23 January 2003, Official Report, column 2OWS, announcing the Government's decision to reduce the 20 day standstill to six days, I stated that Defra would commission further work into the possibility of imposing a distance limit on the movement of animals through markets or making such moves subject to special licences. A figure of 150 kilometres was suggested.We will discuss this suggestion further with livestock auctioneers and the farming industry in order to obtain more information about the pattern of movements through markets, and the likely impact of such a restriction, before we reach a view on its merits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the provision at markets of overnight lairages. [103062]

In a written statement on 23 January announcing the Government's decision to reduce the 20 day standstill to six days, I stated that Defra would consult on a number of proposals aimed at improving biosecurity and disease detection, for possible introduction from 1 August, Official Report, columns 20–24WS.The consultation exercise is now under way. One of the proposals is for a ban on animals being kept overnight at markets. We will consider carefully all the responses to the consultation paper, including any suggestions for alternative measures which might achieve the same objectives, before we reach a view on the merits of the proposals.

reconvene a similar body of stakeholders shortly to review progress on illegal imports.

Landfill Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the statement of the hon. Member for Wentworth of 3 February, Official Report, column 5WS, on the landfill tax credit scheme, what projects have received approval for transitional funding; and, in each case, how much funding has been approved. [103631]

The position regarding applications to the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund as at Friday 14 March was as follows:

Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will announce the public expenditure programmes and institutional arrangements needed to implement the recommendations of the Strategy Unit report, "Waste Not, Want Not". [103698]

Announcements will be made alongside the Government's response to the Strategy Unit report, which we plan to publish around the time of the Budget.

Waste Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further measures are planned to help increase the amount of household waste which is recycled. [102355]

Last year the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit examined the extent of the waste problem, pressures for change and recommended a range of measures to improve performance on sustainable waste management in its report "Waste Not Want Not". We will be publishing our response to the report shortly.Since publication of Waste Strategy 2000, which set national targets for the recycling or composting of at least 25 per cent. of household waste by 2005 and 30 per cent. by 2010, we have set statutory recycling and composing targets for all local authorities to achieve these goals. We have also introduced the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund to support local authority investment in appropriate infrastructure. We have also set up the Waste Resources Action Plan (WRAP) to help create stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and to remove market barriers to waste minimisation, reuse and recycling. And the Waste Emissions and Trading Bill will, by setting reducing ceilings on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill, provide an indirect incentive to increase recycling.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Cyprus

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the communique issued by the UN Secretary-General on 11 March concerning the future of its plan to resolve the Cyprus issue. [103260]

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reunification of Cyprus. [103100]

The British Government fully supports the decision of the UN Secretary-General, announced in his press statement of 11 March, to bring to a close the intensive phase of negotiations to secure a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.We share Mr. Annan's sense of sadness that this opportunity to secure accession to the EU by a reunited island has been missed. Throughout the talks, the UN Secretary-General, his special adviser, Alvaro de Soto, and his team have negotiated skilfully and professionally. But Mr Denktash's refusal to put the UN proposals to a referendum in the north of Cyprus, and his rejection of the idea of implementing a work programme for the next two weeks, aimed at preparing for a referendum before Cyprus signs the Treaty of Accession with the European Union on 16 April, left Mr. Annan with no alternative to the decision he took.I have placed a copy of Mr Annan's statement in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he plans to have with President Papadopoulos of the Republic of Cyprus on restarting discussions towards future negotiations on Cyprus; [103273](2) what discussions he plans to have with the Government of Turkey on its future role in discussions regarding Cyprus. [103274]

The UN Secretary-General has said that he remains at the disposal of the parties in Cyprus, should they ask for UN support in re-starting the settlement negotiations on the basis of his proposals of 26 February. We fully support the UN Secretary-General in this approach, and we will be making this clear to all concerned.

Value: US$ 000s
January to June
199719981999200020012002
Total EU-15 Exports220,199542,165651,5321,038,5501,729,640849,855
France24,54685,30077,837129,042591,869212,556
Italy5,02737,58072,453242,276327,336148,373
Germany126,571244,468300,460361,895301,408203,872
Spain5,37414,05529,08557,28292,98337,832
Belgium37,33952,27988,36646,750
UK10,49242,09956,89977,17487,82527,846

Diplomatic Relations(France, Germany And Russia)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with (a) France, (b) Germany and (c) Russia. [104010]

The United Kingdom's bilateral relations with France, Germany and Russia remain close. We work with France and Germany effectively on important issues such as European defence and the Convention on the future of Europe, and with Russia on the fight against terrorism. There are areas of policy on which we do not agree on tactics e.g. Iraq. But although our approaches on Iraq may differ, there is no difference between us on the fundamental point of the absolute need to disarm Saddam.

Edgar Fernandes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last discussed the case of Mr. Edgar Fernandes with the Turkish authorities; and if he will meet the hon. Member for Leicester, East to discuss the case of Mr. Edgar Fernandes. [103218]

We have been monitoring the investigation into Mr. Fernandes' murder since 1998. Our consular staff in Turkey have regularly attended court hearings relating to the case. We have also raised the case with the Deputy Director General of the Turkish Ministry of Justice, the prosecutor and the family's lawyer. The lawyer and the prosecutor have assured us that rumours that the case may be closed are unfounded. Our consular staff will attend the next court hearing on 10 April and will continue to keep the family fully informed of developments. I do not consider that a meeting with my hon. Friend would be productive at this stage, but we will review this point once the outcome of the case is known.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the verification of UN sanctions placed on Iraq in each of the last five years, including a list of imports and their sources. [102664]

Exports to Iraq are monitored by the UN Office of the Iraq Programme. They provide a breakdown of Iraqi imports by sector. The document is available on the Internet atthe following address http:// www.un.org/Depts/oip/background/basicfigures2.html.The following is a breakdown of Iraqi imports from EU countries over the last six years:

Value: US$000s

January to June

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Austria1,4909,67112,34128,74076,84558,677
Sweden1,5179,2534,22220,30969,67643,993
Denmark7,13115,1958,40220,16539,29817,947
Netherlands12,55924,97742,75232,52237,69324,026
Finland2691,3776,8847,7448,9813,359
Greece1882,0408704,0935,86816,314
Portugal113611,04350926-
Ireland462049494,9153031,070
Luxembourg622617,243

Fully comprehensive information concerning the source and type of goods imported by Iraq is not readily available, and would incur disproportionate cost to discover.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements he has made to compensate surviving family members of civilians killed by the United Kingdom and United States military campaign against Iraq. [104011]

The UK is committed to acting in accordance with international law. If military action is undertaken lawfully, no right to compensation arises. We have always been, and will remain, in the forefront of efforts to help the Iraqi people. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we have always tried to minimise the adverse effects of our actions on Iraqi civilians.

Kosovo

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Albanians have been (a) arrested, (b) charged and (c) convicted in Kosovo of being involved in the destruction of Orthodox churches since June 1999. [103461]

[holding answer of 18 March]:.There have been no Albanians arrested, charged, or convicted, in Kosovo for being involved in the destruction of Orthodox churches.I told Kosovo Albanian leaders during my visits to the province that the destruction of churches and all religious sites were acts of barbarism which bring shame and dishonour to all concerned. NATO-led KFOR continues to patrol and guard churches.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is available for Serbs who were forced to leave Kosovo to return to the province in respect of (a) accommodation and (b) security. [103462]

[holding answer 18 March 2003]: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) co-ordinates sustainable returns of all Internally Displaced Persons and refugees to Kosovo, including Serbs. The UNHCR, as well as cross-border Non-Governmental Organisations and local authorities, provide information on all aspects of the return process, including on accommodation and security, as well as public services, economic opportunities, and acceptance by the existing communities. It is ultimately a decision for each individual as to whet her to return to Kosovo, based on the information provided by these agencies.We recognise the problems facing Kosovo Serbs. Though returns have clearly not been sufficient, United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), under the leadership of Michael Steiner, has established an Office for Returns and Communities, and a Strategy for Sustainable Returns for 2003. UNMIK and the NATO-led KFOR provide security within the Province.

Ministerial Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list internal flights made by Ministers in his Department in 2002, including in each case the (a) cost, (b) departure location and (c) destination; and of these how many were (i) first class, (ii) business class and (iii) economy class. [103583]

The following is a list of internal flights made by Ministers in that capacity in my Department in 2002.

  • 1. I flew to Manchester from London Heathrow on 27 July 2002. The cost of the Business Class ticket was £158.50.
  • 2. I flew to Edinburgh on an RAF HS125 on 27 August 2002, then on to Belfast, before returning to London. I was accompanied on the aircraft by a Private Secretary; a Special Adviser, three officials and a Special Branch Protection Officer. The cost of the aircraft was £2,028.84.
  • 3. I flew from London to Birmingham on an RAF helicopter on 6 September 2002. The cost was £1,838.09 and I was accompanied by my Private Secretary and a Special Branch Protection Officer. For further details, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Chelmsford, West (Mr. Burns) on 5 February 2003, column 306W.
  • 4. My noble Friend Baroness Symons flew to Teesside from London Heathrow on 29 November 2002. The cost of the Business Class ticket was £403.50.
  • 5. The then Minister for Europe, my right hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Peter Hain) flew to Belfast from London Heathrow on 26 February 2002. The cost of the Economy Class ticket was £166.40.
  • 6. The Minister for Europe, my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) flew to Glasgow from London Heathrow on 7 July 2002. The cost of the Business Class ticket was £261.40.
  • 7. The Minister for Europe, my ho n. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) flew to Glasgow from London Heathrow on 17 October 2002. The cost of the Business Class ticket was £289.40.
  • Libya

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Libyan authorities regarding the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984; and what progress has been made in finding the killer. [103351]

    The ongoing investigation into the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher is an operational matter for the Metropolitan Police. Officers from the Metropolitan Police made two visits to Libya in 2002 to discuss the investigation with the relevant Libyan judicial authorities. I also raised the issue with the Libyan Foreign Minister when I visited Libya in August 2002. The Metropolitan Police will continue to pursue this investigation.

    Scotland

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many special advisers in the Department (a) have left and (b) will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103609]

    No special advisers have left and none will be working in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans Ministers in the Department have to (a) visit Scotland on official business, (b) announce public appointments and (c) make Ministerial announcements in April. [103658]

    Departmental business during the campaign period preceding elections to the Scottish Parliament will be conducted in accordance with the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments in respect of elections to the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.

    China

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the Chinese Government regarding the pending death sentence on Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche. [103863]

    We have raised the case of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche (together with that of Lobsang Dhondup) three times with the Chinese authorities. We also supported strongly worded EU demarches to the Chinese and an EU declaration on the case. The Chinese authorities have confirmed that his original sentence, the death sentence, suspended for two years, has been upheld.We shall continue to raise our concerns with the Chinese about this case and the treatment of Tibetans more generally.

    Turkey

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with other European Union member states on human rights issues in Turkey; and if he will make a statement. [103795]

    My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last discussed human rights issues in Turkey with EU colleagues at the European Council in Copenhagen in December 2002. At official level, our dialogue with EU partners is constant, in Ankara, Brussels and elsewhere.

    Un Compensation Commission

    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the UK representatives are on the UN Compensation Commission; how much compensation has so far been disbursed, broken down by country of origin of the case; and how much has been committed to be disbursed (a) in total and (b) by country of origin of the case. [103840]

    The UK, as a Security Council member, sits on the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission and is represented by HMG officials in Geneva and London. Claims for compensation from the UNCC are dealt with by the FCO Consular Claims Section and through our diplomatic mission in Geneva.The commission has received about 2.6 million claims seeking compensation in excess of US$300 billion. The majority of these claims have been resolved. Nearly 100 Governments have submitted claims, as well as various UN organisations. Details of which countries have submitted claims can be found on the UNCC website: www.unog.ch/uncc.

    Defence

    Advertising Expenditure

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Department spent on advertising in Scotland in each year since 1999 on (a) television, (b) newspapers, (c) radio, (d) magazines, (e) billboards and (f) sporting events. [102327]

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent in each of the last 24 months on (a) television, (b) radio and (c) newspaper advertising for each of the armed forces. [103525]

    This information is not held centrally in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.However, since 1999–2000 Ministry of Defence's advertising and publicity costs have been published in the annual Departmental Performance Report, broken down into categories of RN, Army, RAF and civilian recruitment, PR, marketing and business support services, Chief of PR, sales promotion, scholarships and

    National Employers' Liaison Committee. Copies of these documents have been placed in the Library of the House.

    Age Diversity

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department completed its diagnostic review for compliance with the Government's Code of Practice for Age Diversity in Employment; and what changes his Department plans to make following the review. [99420]

    The Ministry of Defence reviewed its employment policies in accordance with the Government's Code of Practice for Age Diversity in Employment and took steps to integrate age into its equal opportunities policies through implementation of the Performance and Innovation Unit's report "Winning the Generation Game". This made specific recommendations for the civil service to ensure that policies are age-proofed in preparation for the legislation to be introduced in 2006. The review was concluded in May 2002. It included consideration of raising the retirement age to allow those staff who currently have a retirement age of 60 the option to stay on to the age of 65. The conclusion was that there should be no change to the retirement policy at this stage, but that it should be kept under review in light of the emerging legislation. The Ministry of Defence is committed to ensuring that its employment policies do not discriminate unfairly on grounds of age or for any other reason.

    Armed Forces' Pay

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has held with representatives of Her Majesty's forces on the formation of a federation to represent the armed forces in negotiations over pay and working conditions; and if he will make a statement. [103868]

    None. The independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) makes recommendations to the Government on pay, after gathering evidence from a wide variety of sources, including Service personnel of all ranks. The AFPRB system commands widespread respect throughout the Services.Members of the Armed Forces may also express their views about working and living conditions through Continuous Attitude Surveys, Service personnel liaison teams and their own chains of Command, who have a duty to look after the welfare and well-being of personnel under their authority.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the high and low pay banding system will apply to all members of HM forces; and if he will make a statement. [103870]

    The majority of Armed Forces personnel have now transferred to Pay 2000, which was implemented on 1 April 2001 and introduced an incremental, two-tier system of higher and lower pay bands for regular serving other ranks. A full review of Pay 2000 will take place to inform the 2004 pay round but there are currently no plans to introduce higher and lower pay bands for officers, although they will continue to be subject to an incremental pay system.

    Armed Services (Free Travel)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what ranks in the armed services are allowed to travel by air (a) first class and (b) business class at public expense when on official duties. [102886]

    Air transport is the normal method of movement for Service Personnel and their families travelling to and from the United Kingdom. Operational airlift for all personnel, including senior officers, is conducted using either trooping flights or commercial charter for which there is no business class entitlement. The booking of seats on civilian commercial flights to destinations not served by air trooping services, or to which service flights are not available at the time required, is permissible but only with the prior approval of the appropriate budget holder.The number of flying hours in one day dictates the seat class entitlement at public expense. There is no entitlement to first class travel for flights under 2.5 hours duration.For flights over 2.5 hours, only 4-star Service officers are permitted to travel first class. Where there are only first or third class seats available, 2-star officers and above may also travel first class.For flights of 4 hours duration or longer, 1-star Service officers may travel first class when a business class seat is unavailable.All ranks of the armed services are entitled to travel business class—if a seat is available—for flights over 2.5 hours. Leave travel is undertaken at economy rates.

    Award Schemes

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the award schemes in (a) 2001 and (b) 2002 promoted by the Department; what their scope was; when the relevant participating organisations are scheduled to be sent results; and whether other parties will be given notification of the results at the same time. [102056]

    Although some parts of the Ministry of Defence have been involved in the sponsorship of award schemes open to external candidates, we have not devoted significant resources to the promotion of any such scheme in 2001 or 2002.

    Blood-Clotting Bandages

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether blood-clotting bandages will be available to troops deployed in the Middle East. [103038]

    No. There are currently no fibrin (blood clotting agent) impregnated bandages licensed in the United Kingdom and such bandages will not be issued to United Kingdom service personnel deployed in the Middle East.

    Chemical/Biological Weapons

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate the Government have made of the useable lifetime of (a) anthrax (wet form), (b) smallpox, (c) VX and (d) mustard gas; and if he will make a statement. [103578]

    The stability of these materials depends very much on the initial purity and the precise storage conditions. Their usable lifetime as chemical or biological warfare agents, can range from a few months to several tens of years. It should be noted that even partially degraded material may still pose a significant hazard.

    Departmental Telephone Directory

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the most recent internal telephone directory for the Department was published; how often it is updated; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [102027]

    The most recent paper copy of the internal phone directory for the Ministry of Defence was published in June 1999. However, the directory has been regularly updated and maintained on the internal Defence websites, allowing access to over 100,000 staff. This is in line with the Government targets for electronic working. For those without internal web access, the directory is published quarterly on CD ROM and distributed to over 1,000 Defence staff, authorised industry partners and Defence trading funds. The latest CD ROM is due to be published at the end of March 2003.The directory is protectively marked RESTRICTED. The Directory is therefore only available to HMG Armed Forces staff, MOD Civilians and cleared Defence industry partners and trading funds.

    Entertainment

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the total spending of his Department on entertainment in each year from 1994–95 to 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [92392]

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's hospitality budget (a) is in 2002–03 and (b) was in each of the last three years; and how much was left unspent at the end of each financial year. [99577]

    Expenditure on entertainment by the Ministry of Defence in each year since 1996–97 was as follows:

    Year£ million
    1996–975.145
    1997–985.035
    1998–995.563
    1999–20005.538
    2000–016.001
    2001–026.030
    Figures for the years prior to 1996–97 cannot be provided on a consistent basis.

    Due to the introduction of Resource Accounting and Budgeting, from 2002–03 onward entertainment costs will be reported on a different basis. The outturn for 2002–03, on this basis, is estimated to be £6.309 million.

    These figures reflect expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Defence, the establishments and formations of the Armed Forces at home and abroad, and by individual officers occupying appointments for which entertainment allowances were payable. Expenditure incurred on entertainment is strictly for official purposes only, and is made in accordance with departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.

    Eu Defence Ministers Council

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent progress of plans to create a Council of EU Defence ministers; and what the functions of that Council are expected to be. [103873]

    Defence Ministers currently meet twice each year in the formation of the EU Council of Ministers known as the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC). There have recently been proposals, in the framework of the Convention on the Future of Europe, for a new Council configuration bringing together Ministers of Defence, focusing on defence capability matters, including particularly the running of the proposed European Defence Capabilities Development and Acquisition Agency. Although establishment of such a new configuration would not require a change in the Treaty, it is likely that the issue will be dealt with as part of the Convention deliberations. No decisions have yet been taken.

    General Dynamics Uk

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 15 January 2003, Official Report, column 636W, on General Dynamics UK, which company was contracted to provide the Defence Stores Management System; whether the programme is still running; and if he will make a statement. [102566]

    Four companies (Electronic Data Systems, ASI, and Cap Gemini Ernst and Young, with IBM acting in a project integration role) were contracted to provide elements of the Defence Stores Management Solution (DSMS). The programme was suspended in January 2002 on grounds of affordability, and the Department is currently reviewing its requirements for an advanced inventory management capability that takes account of developments in software technology and in the light of independent external advice from McKinsey and Co.

    Gulf Forces

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the UK forces serving in the Gulf area are under 18; and if he will make a statement as to their roles. [104048]

    I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 5 March 2003 Official Report, column 1053W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Stinchcombe).

    International Military Services Ltd

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether UNMOVIC has requested information about sales of (a) materials and expertise relevant to the delivery of weapons of mass destruction and (b) missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres from International Military Services Ltd. [103834]

    I have been asked to reply.The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission have not sought any information from the Government about the alleged provision of any goods or services to Iraq by International Military Services Ltd.

    Iraq

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many units of the armed forces (a) regulars and (b) reserves have specific chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training; how many of these have been deployed to the Gulf; and if he will make a statement. [103432]

    All armed forces personnel, including the reserves, are given training to protect themselves in a Nuclear, Biological or Chemical (NBC) environment, as part of their basic training. This is refreshed at regular intervals. The Joint NBC Regiment, which also includes a reserve element, and individuals within other units, receive specialist NBC training.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) UK military personnel and (b) military personnel of other nationalities have died in military operations in Iraq since 1990; and if he will make statement. [99605]

    There have been 25 United Kingdom military operational fatalities in Iraq since 1990, 23 during the Gulf conflict in 1991 and two in 1994.We do not hold data in respect of other nations.

    Medical Facilities (Gulf)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the extent to which British forces will be dependent on hospital and other medical facilities provided by (a) the USA and (b) other countries in the event of conflict in the Gulf. [102375]

    [holding answer 11 March 2003]: If hostilities were to occur, British forces would have access to a comprehensive range of United Kingdom medical facilities that we have deployed to the region. As is normal practice, we have also agreed reciprocal arrangements with the United States and have arrangements in place to enable United Kingdom personnel to have access to specialist medical facilities in other countries.

    Military Forces Training

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those countries in which British military forces have provided training since 1997. [103465]

    [holding answer 19 March 2003]: Between January 1997 and March 2003 British Military Forces provided Ministry of Defence endorsed, in country, training to 71 countries. A complete list of those countries is shown in the table.

    1Angola
    2Antigua
    3Argentina
    4Australia
    5Bahrain
    6Bangladesh
    7Barbados
    8Belize
    9Bermuda
    10Botswana
    11British Virgin Islands
    12Brunei
    13Bulgaria
    14Chile
    15Colombia
    16Czech Republic
    17Egypt
    18Eritrea
    19Estonia
    20Ethiopia
    21Falkland Islands
    22Ghana
    23Grenada
    24Guyana
    25Hong Kong
    26Indonesia
    27Jamaica
    28Jordan
    29Kenya
    30Kuwait
    31Latvia
    32Lebanon
    33Lithuania
    34Macedonia
    35Malawi
    36Malaysia
    37Maldives
    38Mauritania
    39Mauritius
    40Monserrat
    41Morocco
    42Mozambique
    43Namibia
    44Nepal
    45Nigeria
    46Oman
    47Pakistan
    48Palestine
    49Philippines
    50Poland
    51Qatar
    52Romania
    53Rwanda
    54Saudi Arabia
    55Seychelles
    56Sierra Leone
    57Singapore
    58Slovakia
    59South Africa
    60South Korea
    61Sri Lanka
    62Swaziland
    63Tanzania
    64Thailand
    65Trinidad
    66Turks and Caicos Islands
    67UAE
    68Uganda

    69Uruguay
    70Venezuela
    71Zimbabwe

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what Royal Navy training exercises and planned deployments have been cancelled as a result of Operation Fresco. [103997]

    The majority of personnel providing fire cover for Operation Fresco have been taken from ships and submarines undergoing periods of refit or maintenance, or which had returned from operational deployments and were not programmed to undergo further deployments. Only two of the ships from which personnel were taken for fire-fighting duties were prevented from undertaking operational tasks: HMS Manchester was withdrawn from NATO's Standing Force Atlantic, and HMS Lancaster from Atlantic Patrol (South). As a result, HMS Lancaster was withdrawn from the Chilean-hosted exercise Teamwork South 2003.Although the firefighters' dispute has reduced the number of naval vessels going through operational sea training, there has been no need to cancel joint maritime courses as a result.

    Overseas Trips

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his Ministerial team in 2002; and what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was in each case. [101491]

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 334W, by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office.

    Scotland

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many special advisers in the Department (a) have left and (b) will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103619]

    The rules relating to special advisers' political activities are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Further guidance in respect of elections for the Scottish Parliament is set out at paragraph 13 of the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in United Kingdom Departments, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.The reasons for a special adviser's resignation are a private matter between the department and adviser, and are therefore exempt from disclosure under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans ministers of the Department have to (a) visit Scotland on official business, (h) announce public appointments and (c) make ministerial announcements in April. [103653]

    Departmental business during the campaign period preceding elections to the Scottish Parliament will be conducted in accordance with the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in United Kindom Departments in respect of elections to the Scottish Parliament and National Assesmbly for Wales, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.

    Scotland

    Fishing Industry

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she discussed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer new funding for fishing communities following the EU decision in December 2002 on quota cuts. [103957]

    I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of issues.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Scotland Office was first informed of the £55 million EU funding for Scotland's fishing industry; and by whom it was informed. [103959]

    Other Government Departments and the Scottish Executive keep the Scotland Office regularly informed of all important matters relating to the fishing industry.

    Transport

    Biofuels

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the (a) number and (b) locations of biofuel filling stations in the UK; and what efforts are being made to increase the number of filling stations where biofuels are sold. [103550]

    The Government estimate that there are currently approximately 100 filling stations retailing biodiesel in the UK, with the distribution of outlets largely skewed towards the north of the country. The number and regional availability of these sites is expected to continue to increase as the market develops further, driven by the 20 pence per litre duty incentive, introduced in July 2002, and positive customer reaction to the fuel.Biofuels are one of the many ways in which companies and individuals can reduce the impact on the environment of their transport decisions. In order to give consumers better access to information on biofuels, the Government have commissioned the Energy Saving Trust to develop its TransportEnergy website (www.TransportEnergy.co.uk) to include helpful advice on biofuels, including the location of UK retailing sites. This information should be on-line shortly.

    Northern Ireland

    Brain Injuries

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will include brain injury as a classification sub-heading within the overall published statistics for accidents sustained and injuries treated in NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland. [103239]

    To routinely include brain injury as a classification sub-heading could be misleading and would not necessarily meet the needs of the majority of the users of the published statistics.The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is currently working towards the production of detailed statistics to be published on the Internet. These will include tables showing the number of patients admitted to hospital by the type of injury or disease using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10).

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the facilities funded by the Department of Health for post-acquired brain injury rehabilitation. [103240]

    Information on the range of facilities is not held centrally. Provision of post-acquired brain injury rehabilitation varies widely depending on the clinical needs of the individual. It includes statutory provision and that provided by specialist voluntary sector organisations, which may also be funded by the Department.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many acquired brain injury incidents related to road traffic accidents and other causes there were in each of the last three years, broken down by health board area; and what the survival rates were among such patients. [103241]

    Details on the number of persons admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury related to road traffic accidents and other causes by health board area are provided in the tables. Information on their survival rates is not available.

    Admissions to hospital with brain injuries related to road traffic accidents and other causes 1999/200 to 2002
    Board or ResidenceRelated to Road TrafficOther causesAll Brain Injuries
    1999–2000
    Eastern42176218
    Northern276289
    Southern4098138
    Western39131170
    Total148467615
    2000–01
    Eastern36183219
    Northern2493117
    Southern336497
    Western1885103
    Total111425536
    2001–02
    Eastern41179220
    Northern27101128
    Southern217798
    Western246791
    Total113424537
    Figures have been supplied from the Hospital Inpatients System (HIS) for 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02, the latest three years for which data are available.

    Brain injury has been defined as persons suffering from an intracranial injury (SO6 in the international classification of diseases ICD10).

    Data are supplied by Health Board of residence.

    Discharges and deaths are used as an approximation for admissions.

    Ladies' Hockey

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money has been allocated to ladies' hockey in Northern Ireland from (a) lottery funding and (b) Exchequer funding in (i) 2000–01, (ii) 2001–02, (iii) 2002–03 and (iv) 2003–04; and how much money in total has been allocated to the women in receipt of funding for help in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games. [103707]

    The total amount of money allocated to ladies' hockey in Northern Ireland from (a) lottery funding and (b) Exchequer funding in the years listed is as follows:

    £
    Funding2000–012001–022002–032003–04
    Lottery08,85024,400Not available
    Exchequer22,00022,00026,000Not available
    Note:The lottery figures take into account awards made from the Talented Athlete, Talented Athlete Next Generation and Talented Junior programmes.No additional funding is available or has been allocated to ladies' hockey beyond those listed above. Furthermore any funding awarded is to assist ladies' hockey prepare for major competitions in general rather than for specific competitions such as the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Local Government Finance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what cash reserves are available to Castlereagh Borough Council; and what statutory requirement there is for local authorities to keep reserves. [103359]

    I am not in a position to state the level of cash reserves available to Castlereagh Borough Council. There is no statutory requirement for district councils to keep reserves nor is there any obligation on them to publish annual accounts. There is provision, however, in local government legislation which allows the ratepayers of the district access and opportunity to examine the detail of the accounts of their local council.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the indebtedness is of the councils in Northern Ireland. [103360]

    The latest figures available relating to the level of indebtedness of district councils are at 31 March 2002 and have been extracted from the unaudited accounts for the financial year 2001–2002. The amounts of loans outstanding, per head of population for each district council are set out in the following table.

    District council

    Amount (£)

    Antrim BC232
    Ards BC231
    Armagh C and DC439
    Ballymena BC344
    Ballymoney BC125
    Banbridge DC321
    Belfast CC88
    Carrickfergus BC239
    Castlereagh BC277
    Coleraine BC385
    Cookstown DC55
    Craigavon BC160
    Derry CC188
    Down DC136
    Dungannon and ST BC48
    Fermanagh DC47
    Larne BC167
    Limavady BC265
    Lisburn BC250
    Magherafelt DC2
    Moyle DC310
    Newry and Mourne DC252
    Newtownabbey BC369
    North Down BC200
    Omagh DC209
    Strabane DC73

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what level of debt Castlereagh Borough Council has acquired up to the end of the last financial year. [103361]

    At 31 March 2002, the amount of loans outstanding, per head of Castlereagh Borough Council's population is 277. This figure has been extracted from the unaudited account for the financial year 2001/2002.

    North-South Ministeriall Council

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost is in 2002–03 of the Secretariat of the north south ministerial council. [103251]

    The 2002–03 budget allocation for the north/south ministerial council joint secretariat (north) is £735,000. Final outturn figures for 2002–03 will not be available for some time.

    Pharmacies

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what impact he expects the implementation of the proposed OFT recommendations to have upon people employed in community pharmacies; [103329](2) what benefits he estimates would be gained by the deregulation of pharmacies as recommended by the OFT investigation into the control of entry regulations for pharmacy contracts; and what studies have been carried out to assess the impact of pharmacy deregulation on the businesses of community pharmacies; [103327](3) what effect he estimates

    (a) increased competition in the pharmaceutical industry will have on prescription charges and (b) the deregulation of control of entry requirements for pharmacy contracts will have on disadvantaged groups in society; and if he will make a statement; [103330]

    (4) what effect he expects the implementation of the proposed OFT regulations will have on (a) the distribution of pharmacies and (b) pharmacist and patient relations. [103328]

    The Office of Fair Trading examined the UK market for retail pharmacy services in order to consider whether consumers are best served by the current statutory controls under which pharmacies can dispense NHS prescriptions. The OFT conclusion was that they are not and their report therefore recommended abolition of these controls in order to improve competition; reduce prices for over the counter medicines; and improve both access to, and the quality of, pharmaceutical services.Competition and consumer matters are reserved to the United Kingdom Government in Westminster and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is responsible for co-ordinating the response across Government to the report. However, Health Service pharmacy policy is a devolved matter and the regulations imposing controls on pharmacies are a matter for Ministers in each country. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is therefore working closely with Health Departments and other Government Departments to make sure that Government's response to the report takes account not only of competition and consumer interests, but widerpublic policy objectives. It is not considered that the report will affect current prescription charge arrangements.No decisions have been reached on the OFT recommendation and, as yet, there are no proposals for changes to the legislation. We have invited views from a wide range of stakeholders and are considering these carefully. This includes responses from political representatives, the pharmaceutical profession, the Health Service, patient representative bodies and the general public.

    Publicity And Advertising

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much (a) his Department and (b) each agency and non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department spent on (i) publicity and (ii) advertising in each year from 1995–96 to 2002–03 (estimated); and if he will make a statement. [92243]

    For the Northern Ireland Office it is not possible to disaggregate spend on publicity and advertising. The figures below cover both, for the core Department and its Agencies. Information on NDPBs is not held centrally.

    £
    Total
    1995–962,326,800
    1996–971,247,400
    1997–981.077,706
    1998–992,466,691
    1999–2000695,017
    2000–01591,075
    2001–021,223,491
    2002–03*1,083,477
    *Full year estimate based on spend to date.

    Within the Northern Ireland administration it was not possible to disaggregate figures for publicity and advertising in all cases. Combined figures for publicity and advertising for the Northern Ireland Departments, its agencies and NDPBs for each year are set out in the following table.

    £

    Total

    Departments

    Agencies

    1995–963,153,9601,956,472
    1996–973,016,7972,850,578
    1997–982,938,8842,955,319
    1998–994,606,5172,809,096
    1999–20004,508,1253,393,004
    2000–015,064,4466,673,867
    2001–025,223,7786,177,507
    2002–03*2,265,3937,229,788

    * Estimated.

    Royal Prerogative Of Mercy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has been exercised in respect of members of terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland in each year since 1998. [85886]

    I am sorry for the delay in replying.Since 1998 the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has been granted 18 times in respect of individuals convicted of terrorist offences relating to Northern Ireland. The breakdown of cases is as follows:

    • 1998: 1
    • 1999: 1
    • 2000: 7
    • 2001: 6
    • 2002: 3

    Stevens Inquiry

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost was of the Stevens inquiry in each year since its establishment; and which Department is meeting the cost. [102641]

    The cost of the Stevens inquiry in each year since its establishment is:

    £
    2000–011,036,483.57
    2001–021,932,338.35
    2002–03920,473.42
    These costs are being met by the PSNI, which receives its funding through the Northern Ireland Office.

    Swimming

    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money has been allocated to swimming in Northern Ireland from (a) lottery funding and (b) Exchequer funding, in (i) 2000–01, (ii) 2001–02, (iii) 2002–03 and (iv) 2003–04; and for which country the two swimmers allocated funding to prepare for the 2004 Olympic Games will be competing. [103708]

    The total amount of money allocated to swimming in Northern Ireland from (a) lottery funding and (b) Exchequer funding in the years listed is as follows:

    £
    Funding2000–012001–022002–032003–04
    (a) Lottery43,86132,82826,468Not available
    (h) Exchequer20,00020,00023,500Not available
    Note:The lottery figures take into account awards made from the Talented Athlete, Talented Athlete Next Generation and Talented Junior programmes.Two swimmers are currently on funding programmes associated with the Lottery Sports Fund and both have as their targeted events, competition at the 2004 Olympic Games. Both athletes, as members of the local governing body for the sport, Swim Ulster, which is affiliated with the national governing body, Swim Ireland, will compete for Ireland if selected for Olympic competition. However, selection for competition at the 2004 Olympic Games has not yet taken place and it would be premature to state that either swimmer will be competing.

    Culture, Media And Sport

    Television Licence

    To a sk the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many households received free TV licences in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02, broken down by type of licence; how many households are expected to receive free TV licences in (i) 2002–03, (ii) 2003–04, (iii) 2004–05 and (iv) 2005–06; and what the cost has been. [103805]

    The number of free licences issued, by type of licence and in total, in 2000–01 and 2001–02, the forecast total for each of the years 2002–03 to 2005–06 (for which a breakdown by type of licence is not available), and the actual or forecast costs for each year, are as follows.

    Number of free licences issued by type of licence (thousands)
    ColourBlack and whiteAccommodation for residential careTotal free licences issued (thousands)Cost £ million)
    2000–012,963361543,153323
    2001–023,348254783,851372
    2002–0313,904390
    2003–0413,927407
    2004–0513,952425
    2005–0613,982448
    1 Forecast

    Notes:

    Expenditure is in nominal terms and for the United Kingdom. Numbers and forecasts of licences issued are rounded to the nearest thousand.

    Actual and forecast costs are rounded to the nearest million pounds.

    Source:

    For 2000–01 and 2001–02: Ernst and Young Audit Reports.

    For 2002–03 and subsequent years: pre-Budget report, November 2002

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people were (a) eligible for and (b) in receipt of a free TV licence in each of the last three years in Chorley constituency. [104071]

    TV Licensing, which administers free television licences for the over-75s as agent for the BBC, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 5,700 people aged 75 or over living in the Chorley constituency.

    Television Programming

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what recent research her Department has undertaken regarding programming on (a) terrestrial, (b) cable and (c) satellite television channels; and if she will place copies in the Library; [103818](2) what recent quantitative research and assessments her Department has undertaken relating to the news content of

    (a) terrestrial, (b) cable and (c) satellite news programmes; and if she will lay copies of those results in the Library. [103787]

    Museum Funding

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects that funding will be available for Hubs allocated phase two status in the Renaissance in the Region Museum Funding Initiative; how much funding is available for the (a) phase two Hubs and (b) the phase one Hubs; what process the phase two Hubs will be required to undertake in order to receive their funding; and whether this process repeats the initial competition for phase one status and funding. [102534]

    We will be providing £70 million for regional museums from this year until 2005–06, which will represent a 200 per cent. increase in central Government funding by the end of the spending review period. Extra funding will also be made available to the national museums to enable them to work in partnership with regional museums. Additionally, there will be funds from the Department for Education and Skills to support museums' education.The funds will be distributed through nine Regional Hubs led by major regional museums. The Regional Hubs selected for priority funding are the North East, South West and West Midlands Hubs, but Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries will continue to provide a level of support to all nine Regional Hubs.Resource will put its recommendations to Ministers on funding allocations for all nine Regional Hubs ready for announcement in April. All Regional Hubs will then be asked to submit a detailed Business Plan by January 2004, setting out their programme of work for 2004–06. This will not be a competitive process and will build on information previously submitted.

    Scotland

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many special advisers in the Department (a) have left and (b) will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103621]

    The rules relating to special advisers' political activities are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Further guidance in respect of elections for the Scottish Parliament is set out at paragraph 13 of the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.The reasons for a special adviser's resignation are a private matter between the Department and adviser, and are therefore exempt from disclosure under paragraph 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Information.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans ministers of the Department have to (a) visit Scotland on official business, (b) announce public appointments and (c) make Ministerial announcements in April. [103655]

    Departmental business during the campaign period preceding elections to the Scottish Parliament will be conducted in accordance with the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments in respect of elections to the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.

    Education And Skills

    Working Group (14-To-19)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding has been allocated for the 14–19 working group. [102298]

    The total support required by the working group has not yet been finalised. Administration costs in relation to those staff currently assigned to support the group are expected to be £230,000 in 2003–04.

    Aim Higher Scheme

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what opportunities the Aim Higher scheme will provide to schools to access additional funding; and whether it will be open to schools not eligible under the Excellence Cluster scheme in West Cumbria. [103141]

    The Excellence Challenge programme, which will be renamed Aimhigher, provides direct funding to schools and colleges in areas of disadvantage to raise attainment and aspirations of young people. We will be expanding this programme to include Excellence Clusters, including West Cumbria, from this September. Areas which are not covered by this programme may benefit from funding through the Higher Education Funding Council's Aimhigher: Partnerships for Progression initiative.

    Ballet Schools

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many ballet schools there are in England and Wales; and what Government support is available to pupils. [103044]

    My Department does not keep lists of the many small ballet schools in England. The Council for Dance Education and Training holds a comprehensive list of providers.There are four independent specialist ballet schools in England offering places to exceptionally talented children aged 11 to 19. They all participate in the Government's Music and Dance Scheme (MDS), which provides means-tested support with fees, and they all provide vocational training alongside a good academic education.Means-tested support for fees and maintenance is also provided for students aged 16+ by three of the MDS schools and a further four private further education institutions through the Department's Dance and Drama Awards.Schools issues in Wales are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

    Connexions Service

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what grants have been made by the Connexions service to voluntary organisations working with young people for each region in which it operates. [103678]

    Connexions Partnerships make both grant awards and contract payments to voluntary organisations. The latest available data are for the nine months to December 2002. It reflects the different stages of development of the 41 Connexions Partnerships that were operating for all or part of the period. Information from Partnerships suggests that grants awards and contract payments will increase further towards the end of the financial year to March 2003.

    RegionGrant awards £kContract payments £kTotal payments to voluntary organisations £k
    Eastern1490149
    East Midlands13885223
    London3457781.123
    North East28028
    North West1,14101,141
    South East0128128
    South West154532686
    West Midlands61369430
    Yorkshire and Humberside58553611
    Total2,0742,4454,519

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what targets he has set the Connexions service for the level of grants it should be making to voluntary organisations working with young people. [103679]

    There are no targets for the level of grants that Connexions Partnerships should make to voluntary and community organisations.

    Under most circumstances, we would expect Connexions Partnerships to enter into a contract with each of their service providers, including voluntary and community organisations. However, in some cases the need for a contract may present a barrier to an organisation's involvement, particularly in the case of some small voluntary or community groups. In such circumstances, Partnerships can allocate up to £30,000 to an organisation as a grant award in any 12-month period. The total amount awarded in this way is subject to an overriding limit of 5 per cent. of the Partnership's DIES grant allocation, although this may be exceeded with the agreement of the local Government Office. While Partnerships are strongly encouraged to make use of this facility, priorities and structures inevitably vary between and within areas, and it is for this reason that we do not set targets.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been spent by Connexions, in each region, on (a) purchasing property, (b) renting property and (c) construction and refurbishment work in each year it has been operational. [103680]

    The information requested is not collected in the detail and format requested. The following table gives the expenditure of Connexions Partnerships by region for 2001–02 and the first nine months of 2002–03 recorded as "Premises Costs" in their accounts. This expenditure will include items such as rent, purchase of property, refurbishment, construction, fixtures, fittings, local taxation etc.

    RegionNumber of partnerships 2001–02Premises costs 2001–021 £ million)Number of partnerships 2002–03Premises costs 2002–032 (£ million)
    Eastern120751,307
    East Midlands126751,113
    London218451,877
    North East3953
    North West31,43852,643
    South East16373862
    South West21,25861,654
    West Midlands31,45962,586
    Yorkshire and Humber28993696
    Total1536,34941413,691
    1 12 months
    2 9 months
    3 Reflects the total annual expenditure for the 15 Partnerships that were operating for all or part of the year.
    4 Reflects the total expenditure for the 9 months to December 2002 for the 41 Partnerships that were operating for all or part of the period. Although a further three Partnerships began operations during October and November 2002 they were not required to produce accounts for December, so no information is available for them.

    Further Education Funding

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make funds available for further education colleges to accept year 11 pupils who are without a school place. [103354]

    Local Education Authorities are responsible for ensuring all children of statutory school age have access to full-time education. They can use their funding to purchase education for children over the age of 14 from further education colleges, where this is an appropriate way of meeting their needs.

    Fire Prevention

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funds he has allocated (a) for fire prevention measures and (b) for the installation of water sprinkers in (i) schools and (ii) PE colleges in 2003–04. [103674]

    The Department does not specifically fund either fire prevention measures or the installation of water sprinklers in schools and FE colleges. If the assessment of risks to particular premises identify specific fire prevention measures, including water sprinklers, as necessary then the expenditure would come from normal school, local education authority or FE college budgets, drawing on capital allocations made available to them by the Department.

    Foundation Degrees

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether all foundation degree students will be guaranteed a future funded year's study in order to upgrade to a full degree. [103113]

    As well as being awards in their own right foundation degrees can lead to one or more honours degrees. Foundation degree graduates are eligible to apply for the honours degree. The entry requirements are determined by the higher education institution offering the programme of study.

    Primary School Admission Criteria

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether an LEA is free to set proximity to school premises as the admission criterion for a primary school. [102872]

    Yes. Where a LEA is the admission authority for a school it decides on the school's admission arrangements, which must include criteria for deciding which pupils should get places if there are more applicants than places. Proximity to the school is a lawful and acceptable criterion.

    School Buildings

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the findings of the Audit Commission Report on Improving School Buildings. [101837]

    We welcome this report whose conclusions provide an endorsement of our school capital investment programme and our initiative to encourage the development of asset management planning in LEAs and schools. We intend to build upon the progress made in improving the school stock in our new approach to capital investment, for which proposals were set out in the recent consultation paper 'Building Schools for the Future'.We are discussing with the Audit Commission our approaches to addressing the specific recommendations for Government.

    School Sixth Forms

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the average A level points score per pupil for 11 to 18 years schools with sixth forms containing (a) 50 or fewer, (b) 51 to 100, (c) 101 to 150, (d) 151 to 200, (e) 201 to 250 and (f) more than 250 pupils in each of the last three years. [100882]

    [holding answer 13 March 2003]: The average GCE A/AS point score per candidate aged 16–18 in school sixth forms in 1999 to 2001 (the most recent three years for which data are available):

    Number of students in sixth form199920002001
    Less than 5014.715.715.3
    51–10014.715.115.9
    101–15016.717.217.2
    151–20018.718.518.8
    201–25019.419.920.5
    More than 25019.719.620.2
    Total18.418.619.1

    Schools (Warrington)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Warrington, North have, since 1997, had (a) new classrooms, (b) new dining rooms, (c) new toilet blocks and (d) other new buildings. [103186]

    [holding answer 17 March 2003]: We do not hold complete information in the form requested. However, in 1997–98 the Government introduced New Deal for Schools (NDS) as a new additional programme targeted specifically at addressing the backlog of urgent repairs in school buildings that had built up after eighteen years of under-funding under the previous administration. This programme was bid-based and was in addition to other capital funds made available to Warrington local education authority (Cheshire local education authority prior to local government reorganisation in 1998–99). NDS ran through four phases from 1997–98 to 2000–01. Table A shows the schools in the Warrington, North constituency which benefited from investment through the original NDS programme for these purposes. From 2001–02 most capital funding available for building improvements in schools has been allocated to local authorities and schools by needs-related formulae. It is for local authorities and schools to decide how their capital allocations are invested and prioritised between projects, in line with their local asset management planning. Also, from 2000–01 every school has received direct capital allocations to address their highest priorities. In addition, each year authorities have been able to bid for Basic Need funding for the provision of new pupil places. Table B shows all capital funding for school buildings allocated to Warrington local education authority (including voluntary aided schools) since 1998–99.

    Table A: New deal for schools

    £

    Allocations to schools in the Warrington North constituency

    NDSI 1997–98St Philip's Westbrook CofE Aided Primary SchoolConstruction of extension to existing teaching areaLEA-wide grant

    *971,000

    NDSI 1997–98Warrington St Ann's CofE Primary SchoolExternal adaptations to form a new SEN roomLEA-wide grant
    NDS3 1999–2000St Stephen's Catholic Primary SchoolProvision of nursery toilet1,053
    NDS3 1999–2000Beamont Community Junior SchoolReplacement of dining roomProject including two schools

    *386,100

    NDS3 1999–2000Beamont Community Infant SchoolReplacement of dining roomProject including two schools
    NDS4 2000–01Woolston Community High SchoolScience and technology block to replace deteriorating mobiles424,000

    * Denotes allocations made to package projects to the local authority, which will be able to advise the value of projects at schools in the Warrington, North constituency which benefited from these allocations.

    </

    Table B: Warrington local education authority capital allocations

    £ million

    Total